Vandals Took The Handle (Blog)

A decade of work and passion had gone into making something that will become an important milestone in South African cinema history. [...] This film is a window into Venda culture. [...] As much as it is a cultural expose, it really is a brilliantly told story, beautifully shot, with solid performances from the key characters. A couple of unexpected plot developments and one or two rather well conceived twists make the film a joy to sit through.

2012-07-21Vandals Took The Handle

The Witness

Ntshaveni wa Luruli's film Elelwani is a textured cinematic benchmark that comes in the wake of years of steadily building momentum. From the onset the film operates on a premise that is both shaky and interesting. It is the first feature film in Tshivenda which means already-at least socially the film bares the responsibility of taking the battle to ligitimise this language into the South African mainstream-to the next level. [...] This however is not a film that is part of what I often call voucher cinema - aiming to tick all the right boxes on route to box office returns without making a dent in the cultural landscape. Refreshingly it is also not a manifesto for liberal values taking place in a rural setting; rather it is a comparative study about how two eras of a culture are at loggerheads as they battle for relevance in the contemporary. [...] Elelwani is a film that South Africans deserve. A mastered film that is relevant without feeling too self-consciously and quintessentially South African.

2012-07-21Sihle Mthembu

Durbanisyours (Blog)

Elelwani, is a look into a culture that many of us really don't know much about [...] The issues of gender inequality and cultural significance in the modern world are incredibly relevant to this country at this time. Although this is one of those films that deals with "issues" and will probably go down as an important film in South African film history [...]


City Press

A film that will […] hold its own in the decades to come.

2012-07-21Charl Blignaut

Umhlanga Life

[...] Beautifully shot by Cinematographer Lance Gewer one gets a different viewpoint of the cultures and traditions of the Venda people. There is some wonderful music in this movie and the soundtrack is brilliant. It really does add another dimension. You almost find yourself in a surreal landscape. Almost as if David Lynch went to Africa.

2012-07-23Fred Felton

Screen Africa Magazine

[...] Director Ntshavheni wa Luruli, a humble and unassuming personality, has not only made history, he's made a beautiful film. If you're a film lover, it's difficult not to feel euphoric when you have a great cinematic experience.

2012-10-01Joanna Sterkowicz
ELELWANI - EastWest Filmdistribution GmbH